Scholarships for Non Traditional Students

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What is a Scholarship for Non Traditional Students?

If you postponed college, you may be eligible for scholarship for non traditional students. Scholarships for returning students are for people who are pursuing college later in their adult life. It could also be adults returning to school after being in the workforce. 

Scholarships for non traditional students often help pay for college at a time when other expenses abound. Unlike a loan, a non traditional scholarship typically does not need to be paid back. So, if you abide by the terms, it should not add to your college debt.  

Who Offers Non Traditional Scholarships?

Providers of non traditional student scholarships are diverse. You may find them through corporations, professional associations and colleges and other organizations.  

One example is a Founders Scholarship. These awards are for members of ANTSHE. The Association for Non Traditional Students in Higher Education offers $500 to full tuition. There are many colleges offering this scholarship. Albright College and Beloit College are some schools that offer this award. 

Who is a Non Traditional Student?

Students who did not go from high school right into college are “non traditional.” Many students start working after earning their diploma. However, some may want to pursue college later in their life.  

Apart from that, non traditional students have diverse backgrounds. In general, if you fit the bill as a non traditional student, you meet one or more of the following six criteria from the NCES.  

  1. Non traditional students are over the age of 24. They may have already graduated from college and may want to go back to school.
  2. Enroll in college after graduating from high school after 1 year or more. Non traditional students did not immediately continue their education after high school. Many want to return to college after a gap year to finish their degree. 
  3. Attend college part time. Many non traditional students may have to raise a family or work full time. They may enroll in a part time program.  
  4. Have family duties and limited finances. Non traditional students may have to care for dependents other than a spouse. Some are single parents who are raising a child by themselves.
  5. Independent in terms of financial aid. Traditional college students may get financial help from their parents. Non traditional students are usually financially independent.
  6. Have a GED, not a high school diploma. Many non traditional students did not complete a high school diploma. But passed the GED exam and have a high school certificate of completion.    
  7. Work full time. Many non traditional students work a full time job or typical 9 to 5 job.

Can Non Traditional Students Get Financial Aid?

As a non traditional student, you may be eligible for federal student financial aid. Like anyone younger, you should soon fill out a FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid figures out your financial needs. Since there is no age limit for a Federal Pell Grant, you may be eligible too. 

Many scholarships for non traditional students do not place age limits either. Though some providers may ask to see the results of your FAFSA. 

Can You Get a Scholarship at the age of 25?

There are scholarships that you may apply to if you are age 25. You may need to show financial need and have at least a GED. One example is the Tennessee Hope Scholarship. It awards up to $6,750 annually. You must also be a resident of Tennessee.

Why Consider  Non Traditional Student Scholarships? 

A scholarship may help a non traditional student reenter college and help pay for school. Studies show lifetime earnings are higher with a college degree.  

One study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that people with less than a high school diploma may earn a weekly average of $520. Many workers could earn $836 per week with an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree has a weekly pay that averages at $1,173. 

How Many College Students are Considered Non Traditional?

Enrollment of students age 25 and over was 11 percent higher in 2016 than in 2006. The National Center for Education Statistics predicts that is on the rise by 1% through 2027. 

About 7.4 million students age 25 or older went to college in fall 2019. This is less than the number of ‘traditional’ students. About 12.5 million college students were under 25 years of age. 

About 10% of college students attending 4 year public colleges are non traditional. Of these, most students (8%) are age 25 to 34. The remaining 2% are 35 years or older.  

If you look at private for profit schools, about one third (39%) are 25 to 34. Another 28% are 35 plus. Somewhere between these two are private nonprofit colleges. While most (8%) are in the 25 to 34 range, 5% are adults age 35 and up. 

List of Non Traditional Student Scholarships

As a non traditional student, there are many scholarships to help you earn a college degree. There are awards worth below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for non traditional students.

U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship Program

This award is available to U.S. high school juniors and seniors serving as elected student body participants in a selected student government, civic, or educational organization. Selection will be based on outstanding ability and demonstrated qualities of leadership.

Total: $5000

Awards: 104

Deadline: 

Wings Over 35 Scholarship

The Wings Over 35 Scholarship is open to U.S. and international students who are over 35 years of age and desire to attain certification as a private pilot. Students must have a financial need and currently hold a third-class medical certificate; students must also be members of WAI by Nov. 1.

Total: $500

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 10

Minnesota Child Care Grant

This award is for Minnesota resident students who have a child 12 years old or younger and are attending or planning to attend a Minnesota public or private postsecondary institution. The student must demonstrate financial need and cannot have completed four years of postsecondary education.

Total: $2074

Awards: 2700

Deadline: 

AAUW Career Development Grant

This award is available for women who hold a bachelor’s degree and are preparing to advance or change careers or re-enter the work force. Special consideration is given to AAUW members, women of color, and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

Total: $60000

Awards: 5

Deadline: November 15

Kentucky Go Higher Grant

This award is for Kentucky resident undergraduate students who are 24 years of age or older and enrolled in fewer than six credit hours or eight quarter hours at a Kentucky college or university.

Total: $1000

Awards: 267

Deadline: 

Diane Endres Ballweg Scholarship

The Diane Endres Ballweg Scholarship is available to women over the age of 30 who wish to learn how to fly or who already have a pilot certificate (private, sport, or recreational) and want to pursue an advanced certificate or rating. Applicants must be members of Women in Aviation, International.

Total: $500

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 10

The Illinois Organization of Mothers of Twins Club, Inc. Scholarship

This award is for U.S. residents of Illinois, who are currently attending college and are a mother or father of multiple birth children (twins, triplets, quads, or more).

Total: $150

Awards: 7

Deadline: September 01

ANSWER Scholarship

Since their founding in 2006 ANSWER has funded 136 college scholarships to 81 local moms in Charlotte, NC. ANSWER Scholarship provides scholarships to mothers of school-age children in the Charlotte area. Scholarship award amounts vary each year and are at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee.

Total: $1000

Awards: 10

Deadline: 

Osher Reentry Scholarship Program

The first Osher endowments supporting scholarships were established in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Maine. This scholarship is available for undergraduate level students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree in the 50 states and Washington, DC. Applicants must be returning to education after a minimum of five years absence.

Total: $50000

Awards: 10

Deadline: 

Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student (HEAPS) Grant Program

This award is available for West Virginia undergraduate students who are enrolled part-time at an eligible postsecondary institution in West Virginia.

Total: $948

Awards: 3122

Deadline: 

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